A lot of people coming to vacation are not aware of the traffic regulations in Thailand. The most popular offenses among tourists include riding without a helmet and lack of a driving license. Many people do not realize that in Thailand you should have an international driving license authorizing you to drive a scooter or motorcycle or a Thai driving license.  In addition, scooter rental can be fined for renting scooters to people without a valid driving license. Random police controls at Phuket are frequent especially around Patong, Karon and Kata on so-called checkpoints.

The checkpoints on Phuket – how to behave?

Checkpoints are regular police checks that are deployed at fixed locations. Usually there are several policemen there. Keep calm during the controls and do not make any fuss in any case. Thai policemen are usually smiling and forgiving but do not tolerate aggressive behavior. The ticket is issued on the spot and must be paid in cash at the nearest police station. After paying the fine, 24 hours amnesia applies, which means that you will not get a second mandate for a lack of driving license within coming 24 hours. Of course, this does not apply to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Here, the penalty is 20,000  baht and the threat of imprisonment.

Checkpoints also happen at night. The police control the sobriety of drivers and can search you by searching for drugs. Remember that the e-cigarette popular in the west is illegal here and treated like a drug.


Speak Thai or pretend you can not?

If you know even a few words in Thai, it can slightly affect the policeman’s decision and ease the punishment. Pretending that you do not understand a word in Thai or English And you do not know what for you  get a ticket does not work.

Final thoughts

Driving a scooter is a very convenient and fast means of transport in Thailand. It is a pleasure and freedom to travel around the island without restrictions. However, to avoid unnecessary costs and stress during a meeting with the police, it is worth finding out what are the penalties for traffic offenses.